Celebrating the UK's trailblazing women - and inspiring the next generation

The First Women Programme was created by Real Business in 2005 and brings together outstanding women from all sectors.

The programme has created an enthusiastic and dedicated network of pioneering women, who engage directly through a series of high profile First Women events, including the Awards, Winners Lunch and Summit.

Real Business is the UK's is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs with 124,623 monthly unique visitors (ABC audit March 2015).

Created by

real business logo

Supported by

CBI logo

Awards

Founded by Real Business and the CBI. Since 2005, the awards have grown in influence and impact and enjoy the support of many of the UK’s leading firms, industry bodies and inspirational business leaders.

Find out more

Working Party

At the First Women Working Lunch our inspirational winners and judges gathered to set the agenda for the 2016 First Women Summit.
 

Find out more

Summit

This full day summit leveraged ten years of the First Women movement, drawing on the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created to educate, mentor and inspire.

Find out more

First Women Exclusives

May has been asked to commit to six policies to transform the lives of women across the UK

Women’s Equality Party sets targets for Theresa May’s first 100 days in office

The Women’s Equality party has called on Theresa May to use her first 100 days as prime minister to advance gender equality

Read more
"On my own journey, I enjoyed being a single parent while cleaning caravans to pay the rent and studying for my degree in the evening."

I still pretend I’m stupid despite decades of success, says Martina Mercer

Martina Mercer explains why she downplays her decades of success in conversations with some of her peers.

Read more
Advancements in technology could help to create more diverse workplaces

The Future of Gender Equality report estimates that pay gap could close by 2045

Yell report details what the next 100 years could look like for gender equality, family life, technology and businesses.

Read more
Companies need to create more hospitable environment in order to attract female employees

Construction industry needs to be more female-friendly to tackle labour shortage

Employers need to develop more welcoming working environments in order to bring more female talent into the sector, One Way has warned.

Read more
Emojis feature a coder, teacher, mechanic, welder, farmer, scientist, chef, doctor, rock star, graduate and business woman

Google’s new emojis reflect reality and diversity of women’s professional lives

Google is addressing gender equality with new range of emojis that represent working women and men

Read more
Charter to link City bonuses to the appointment of senior women

72 finance companies sign new Charter to bolster gender diversity at top levels

Major financial corporations have signed up to a government charter to support the progression of women in the sector to senior roles.

Read more
1

Join the conversation #RBFIRSTWOMEN

Manners PR Manners PR @MannersPR One for @bedfordcollege to link up with. WiC-ed events: women into construction/education were pioneering https://t.co/Rszn5PLJcY 11 hours ago
Caspian Media Caspian Media @CaspianMedia RT @RBFirstWomen: .@WEP_UK sets six equality targets for @theresa_may's first 100 days in office https://t.co/u8p4vBPrZV #100daysofMay http… 15 hours ago
Deborah Granville Deborah Granville @GranvilleDJ RT @RBFirstWomen: .@WEP_UK sets six equality targets for @theresa_may's first 100 days in office https://t.co/u8p4vBPrZV #100daysofMay http… 1 day ago
RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen .@WEP_UK sets six equality targets for @theresa_may's first 100 days in office https://t.co/u8p4vBPrZV #100daysofMay https://t.co/OtAehABIRF 2 days ago
RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen .@martinamercer tells #Firstwomen why she downplays her success in conversations with some of her peers https://t.co/gyN1tVlHVk 3 days ago
Martina Mercer Martina Mercer @martinamercer It's true, I do, but I also LOVE @Primark ! https://t.co/zxPae12FQO 3 days ago
RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen I still pretend I’m stupid despite decades of success, says @martinamercer https://t.co/67ZTvwhBTs https://t.co/WKMZaDghN7 3 days ago
RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen @msjeanbarclay We're not there yet, but edging closer and closer. 3 days ago
Jean Barclay Jean Barclay @msjeanbarclay Ooh! I cant wait...literally... https://t.co/FHCB7QgHNw 3 days ago
James Wallman James Wallman @jameswallman RT @RBFirstWomen: New #genderequality report estimates pay gap could close by 2045 https://t.co/SBrG9q2PCS @jameswallman @YellBusiness http… 3 days ago
Claudia Zapata Claudia Zapata @ClauzapC @RBFirstWomen call me impatient but aren't we doing the same jobs right now? A subject to be discussed at the FW Summit 2017! have your say. 3 days ago
RB First Women RB First Women @RBFirstWomen .@ClauzapC Certainly is, but it's better than 2133 projection by the @wef https://t.co/PCIFeQIFlY 3 days ago